Minister Joe O’Brien visits community initiatives in Meath

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Media Release: Monday, 31 January 2022

Two day visit an opportunity to see community development projects in Meath


Joe O’Brien TD, Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Department of Social Protection is visiting projects and community initiatives supported by his Departments in Co Meath on Monday 31st January and Tuesday 1st February.

The Minister’s visit started at the East Coast Resource Centre in Bettystown, where he met local community workers involved in the Meath Wellness Hub.  The Hub offers free counselling and family support to members of the community in the forming of friendships and further integration.

He then went on to visit the Slane Community Hub set in the heart of Slane Village where he met participants involved in the RSS and Tús schemes who were previously unemployed and are now delighted the get quality work opportunities in the community and voluntary sectors.

The next stop in the Minister’s itinerary was to the Meath County Council Offices, where he met Council officials and some Leaving Cert students who attend Beaufort College.  During his visit, Minister O’Brien said:

I am delighted to meet these wonderful students here today who were fortunate to benefit from the Windtown Student Bus Service, funded by my Department and are now in Leaving Cert year.  This bus service is a tremendous asset in the avoidance of school dropout and the successful completion of their secondary education. You are setting a great example for your peers, your family and other members of the community.”

The Minister went on to visit Cultúr and met with some migrants, asylum seekers and refugees that avail of the english language barrier supports provided through the Social Inclusion Programme (SICAP) and supporting integration. Cultúr is one also of seven organisations taking part in the €1m Community Development Pilot Programme announced last year.   Minister O’Brien said:

I am delighted to visit Cultúr, who are receiving funding under the pilot Community Development Programme. I know, and Cultúr’s previous work underpins this, that communities themselves are best placed to identify needs and to work collaboratively to develop pathways to fully access their rights. It is hugely important that those voices that are most marginalised in society are given opportunities to engage and help develop activities that they know will help enhance their lived experiences and bring their voice to the table when decisions are being made.”

The Minister then went on to visit projects at

  • Meath Traveller’s Workshop, Navan
  • Oaklawns Community House, Navan


On Tuesday, the Minister will visit Meath Partnership that delivers a range of programmes on behalf of government.  Some projects he will also visit, include

  • Donaghpatrick Helicopter Training School
  • SoSad, Navan


The Minister’s two-day visit will conclude with a visit to Trim Family Resource Centre a locally based family support and community development project that empower families and the community to identify their own needs and explore solutions to best address these.


Speaking about his visit to Meath, Minister O’Brien said:

It is great to visit Meath and see first-hand the great work that communities are carrying out with the support of the Departments of Rural and Community Development and Social Protection and with broader Government support.”

“One job of Government is to support communities so that they can develop to become vibrant and inclusive. The projects I am visiting are indicative of the resourcefulness of local communities in identifying an issue and developing a plan to address it and enhance all aspects of the community.”




The Department of Rural and Community Development Press Office

01-773 6843 / 086-4618285



Notes to editor


Tús scheme is an employment support measures for long-term unemployed people and other people in receipt of long-term payments from the Department of Social Protection.

The scheme employ participants to deliver a range of services to local communities throughout the country. These include local amenities management, environmental projects, arts and culture, sports, childcare, TidyTowns, health-related services, meals on wheels and drug rehabilitation schemes.

Rural Social Scheme (RSS)

RSS is an income support initiative providing part-time employment opportunities in community and voluntary organisations for farmers or fishermen in receipt of certain social welfare payments and underemployed in their primary occupation.



SICAP assists both individuals and groups through a two-pronged approach; supporting communities and supporting individuals. SICAP target groups include; children and families living in disadvantaged areas, lone parents, new communities (including refugees/asylum seekers), people living in disadvantaged communities, people with disabilities, Roma, the unemployed (including those not on the Live Register), travellers, and young unemployed people living in disadvantaged areas.


Community Development Pilot Programme (CDP)

  • The aim of this pilot programme is to trial community led interventions that address poverty, social exclusion and inequality, and promote human rights. It is also a commitment under the Programme for Government.
  • The seven successful projects under the Community Development Programme were announced on 24 June 2021. A list of the organisations and the themes of the projects are as follows:
Organisation Name Location Themes
Donegal Intercultural Platform Donegal Migrants
Clare Local Development Company Clare Traveller
Inner City Organisations Network Dublin Women, poverty, housing
Kilkenny Community Traveller Movement Kilkenny Traveller Supports
Longford Community Resources Longford Roma
Cultur Migrant Centre Meath, Louth Migrants
Independent Living Movement Ireland Wexford Disabled persons


Meath Partnership

Meath Partnership is one of 49 Local Development Companies in Ireland.  It is a multi-sectoral partnership that delivers a range of programmes on behalf of local and national government, focused on enhancing the quality of life for disadvantaged individuals and communities.

It provides an integrated range of programmes covering employment and community supports, enterprise grants, social inclusion, training, wellbeing and environmental supports through the delivery of SICAP, LEADER, Tús, RSS, CE programmes, in partnership with Meath LCDC, Meath County Council, DSP and HSE.

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